The coloniality of labor: Migrant Black African youths' experiences of looking for and finding work in an Australian deindustrializing city

Joshua Kalemba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper explores migrant Black African youths' experiences of looking for and finding work in Newcastle, a deindustrializing Australian city. Data for this paper were drawn from interviews conducted with young people who migrated to Australia as temporary and permanent residents. Drawing on concepts of coloniality, racialization, bodywork, and hidden labor, this paper demonstrates how, when looking for work, participants' names get attached to their racialized bodies—a situation which deems them as suitable or not for specific kinds of work. Their strategies of finding work differ according to their migration status; that is, temporary residents draw on their personal networks, whereas some permanent residents with full citizenship rights rely on social welfare support services to find work. However, irrespective of the different strategies used to find work, they all end up doing jobs that they described as “work which others do not wish to do.” I argue that these experiences re-articulate the coloniality of labor because, as workers in these jobs, they play a crucial role in the economic transformation taking place in the city due to deindustrialization. This is not merely because they form part of the workforce responsible for working in unwanted jobs, but because they are also consumers of Newcastle's emerging welfare support and educational services sectors. The paper contributes to an understanding of how race shapes the labor market experiences of racialized youth in deindustrializing labor markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalGender, Work & Organization
Early online date27 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Migrant
  • African
  • youths
  • coloniality
  • racialization
  • labor
  • workforce
  • welfare support
  • deindustrialization
  • migration
  • youth

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